When I first started EcoPlum, Safe Cosmetics was the last thing I thought I would be selling on my site. Why? Well, when I thought of eco-friendly products, things like composters, low flow shower heads, and stainless steel water bottles came to mind. It wasn’t until I became familiar with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics that I learned about how truly dangerous personal care products can be for our bodies and the planet.
Ever since then, I have switched to all organic and vegan personal care products for myself and my kids. But I am here to specifically talk about one brand of vegan cosmetics: Zosimos Botanicals. I LOVE this brand. I first found out about them through their listing as an approved business on Green America’s website. Then I saw that they had signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. I’ve been working with founder Linda Stein ever since and wanted to share her story.
Linda was helping a friend with a growing cosmetics company who took her up on her requests to help her. She was very interested in this area for a couple of reasons. Her sister had to have products made by a dermatologist because touching soap would make her hands peel, and Linda couldn’t wear eye makeup without risking a reaction. As an apprentice to her friend she learned the techniques involved in handcrafting makeup and skincare.
Then she started making her own products. Once she learned what ingredients are used for, it became obvious to her that using a potentially carcinogenic substance is unnecessary because a safe ingredient can do the same thing effectively. In formulating, there are alternative ingredients available to lend a desired characteristic to any product. For example, if you are making a gel, there are numerous thickening agents to choose from. Thickening agents are available in synthetic, natural and organic forms. After creating and testing recipes over many months, the Zosimos Botanicals retail website was launched.
As an activist for safe cosmetics, Linda really wanted to provide healthy, cruelty-free alternatives to toxic beauty products. Part of Zosimos’ mission is educating people about how to read a product label, how to identify toxins, what it means to be cruelty-free and where to go online to investigate if personal care products already in your home are unhealthy. Zosimos practices environmentally friendly business operations too. In hiring employees and growing her company, Linda only offers positions to people from the immediate surrounding area to work at the studio. This enables employees to take the local bus, walk or carpool, reducing carbon emissions. They make everything by hand in-house, so there is no need for any offsite manufacturer.
Other things I really like about this company are that they offer a free make up artist to help match colors for you, they offer many of their products in sample sizes so you can test out a scent or color before committing to a full size, and they take back used containers for refilling and reuse. Zosimos is also a member of 1% for the Planet, a growing global movement of companies that donate 1% of their sales to a network of environmental organizations.
I use their vegan eye liner, eye shadow, blush and lip gloss every day (unless I am going au naturale). The first time I used these products, I actually got compliments about how good my makeup looked! And that wasn’t the last time either! The Vegan Eye Liner goes on so smoothly. It doesn’t crack and chip off like many eye pencils can. I use Branch and Black, depending on the occasion. The Eye Shadow Mineral Powder is light and shimmery and also goes on smoothly. I have been using Daylily for daytime and Bronze and Kelp for evening affairs. Made of minerals which do not support bacterial growth, these eye shadows can last for years. I absolutely love the Natural Flush Mineral Blush which is sheer and silky and gives my skin a radiant look. And unlike those toxic alternatives, it contains minerals that are actually beneficial for the skin. But my hands down favorite is the Vegan Lip Gloss (I like Black Cherry) which I carry around with me every day. This lip gloss is not sticky and is made of all natural ingredients! Now that’s what I want on my lips, not some scary petroleum based product!
Zosimos also makes Shampoos and Conditioners (Apple Orchard is our best seller on EcoPlum), Shower Gels, and a whole array of wonderful products. I give Zosimos an A+ for beauty, style, safety and conservation. Kudos Linda!